Whitepaper: Tablets Leading to Mcommerce Revolution

Tablets are better positioned than smartphones to deliver a positive mobile browse and shop experience, according to a whitepaper released today by The E-tailing Group and sponsored by iPad shopping app developer Coffee Table.

“The tablet’s portability and ease of use explains why consumers see them as ideal tools for researching products and browsing followed by purchasing,” wrote Lauren Freedman, president in The E-tailing Group, in the whitepaper.

Nearly 60% (59%) of the survey respondents agreed that tablets would serve as an ideal tool to research products before making a final purchase. More than half (56%) believed the tablet to be a great device for browsing their favorite catalogs and retailers, while 49% thought the device would be good for purchasing.

“This is quite strong given the short time tablets have been on the market, and an exciting opportunity for the retail community,” Freedman wrote.

Tablet owners use these devices to purchase online more frequently than smartphone owners: One-in-four has made at least six purchases in the past six months vs. 16% on their smartphones, while 39% have made two to five purchases vs. 30% on smartphones.

Shopping via a tablet delivered a more satisfactory experience than shopping via a smartphone. Charting satisfaction of tablet owners vs. smartphone users, 88% of tablet owners reported that their most recent shopping experiences via these devices were” very satisfactory“ to “somewhat satisfactory” compared to 73% of smartphone users.

And when asked to rate the experience against one another, 69% of tablet owners said that their most recent shopping experiences via these devices were significantly (39%) to somewhat better (30%) than shopping with their smartphones.

For the merchants’ part, retailers may be more ready for tablet users than they are smartphone shoppers: More than 100 different merchants were named as one of the last three stores from which respondents made a purchase via a tablet, with Amazon, Best Buy, Target, eBay, iTunes and Wal-Mart topping the list. Others favored included Apple, Barnes and Noble, and specialty retailers such as Staples, Lands’ End and J.C. Penney.

The survey was fielded online in February and targeted shoppers who spent $250 or more online annually and currently own a smartphone and/or a tablet. Of the 996 people who took the survey, 52% only owned a smartphone, and 31% owned both types of devices.

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